Matt Wright is unusual in the pickleball world because he actually played tennis quite seriously throughout his college career at the University of Michigan. He is also unique because he got his introduction to pickleball when he and his friends were seen playing a version of the game they had made up with wooden paddles.
This is probably one of the most unique ways that anyone has come to the sport, and Matt Wright was perhaps better prepared than most to step into the pickleball game due to this remarkable history.
Wright has only been playing professionally for a brief time, but he has already made a name for himself. He credits his many years of professional and collegiate tennis play as part of the foundation for this success. Still, it might also be that his passion for competition is the biggest driver behind his many achievements in such a short time.
If you have wanted to learn more about this often enigmatic but highly skilled pro-pickleball player, you need to read on!
Matt Wright’s Achievements
Matt Wright has been a pro player since 2016. He has been a 4x USA National Champion, a 7x US Open Champion, and a 2x Tournament of Champions Gold Medalist. This is a long list of achievements for someone who has only played for this short time.
He is currently the #2 ranked pro player, and he is playing mixed doubles with Lucy Kovalova. His men’s doubles partner might vary depending on the location and the game.
He is a very flexible player who is equally as skilled when playing alone as he is when playing in a doubles match. This is one of the necessary skills for pro-pickleball success, but not every player can command these flexible skills and adjust to doubles play. Wright has proven that he can play with numerous different players in a season, but he does most of his double playing with Kovalova.
Matt’s first medals were awarded to him at the 2017 and 2018 Pro Division Majors. He took gold both years, and cemented his supremacy as a player for good. He captured a series of Silver Medals in doubles competition during these years as well.
Playing with Dave Weinbach in 2018, he won gold in men’s doubles at the 2018 nationals. That same year, he and Lucy Kovalova won their mixed doubles game at the nationals, and then he and Dave Weinbach both went on to win gold at the US Nationals.
Wright has been very optimistic about the change of venue for the USAPA Championships because he believes that the sport deserves a truly world-renowned venue for its Championship Games. Like so many other pickleball players, he has felt that the game needs more attention if it is to continue to grow and gain recognition.
While Wright does not have the time to give back via coaching like some other players, he advocates pickleball. He often tells people about how he was playing a makeshift version of the game, not knowing that he could be playing pickleball itself in the beginning.
He has made it clear that pickleball is a gratifying game. You can learn to play it readily and enjoy it right off, unlike tennis which often takes years to learn to play well.
Matt Wright Net Worth
Some sources state that Matt Wright’s net worth for 2022 is $5.4 million. This does not come from pickleball alone, however. When he is not ruling the court, he is an attorney full-time. Careers in pickleball can also lead to highly variable income levels for pro players. Many items like sponsorships, product sales, and advertising can impact the overall value of their total support for their playing hours.
Most pickleball players make anywhere from $50k to $200k a year. This is a complex calculation to perform since most pickleball playing contracts are not made as public as large signing deals for major football teams and other highly publicized endorsement deals.
Matt Wright’s Preferred Gear
Matt plays at some of his appearances with an Evoke Premier Pickleball Paddle, and he seems to use a variety of different shoes and other gear from his sponsor Onix. This is common in pickleball as most gear manufacturers make all of the necessary items for the sport, from nets and balls to shoes, racquets, and clothing.
Matt Wright seems not to have publicly stated what he prefers to use for a handgrip, shoes, or even a racquet. There are players that like to keep these details private to give them an edge, and it is possible that he is very flexible in his choices and lets his sponsor supply him with gear that he uses per game.
Matt Wright lives and works as an attorney in Wichita, Kansas. He is 44 years old and quite tall for this sport, at 6’2”. Sources seem to indicate that he is not married and does not have children, although he is a very private player, so it might be that these details have just been kept from the public eye.
There has been some talk about whether he and his partner, Lucy Kovalova, are a couple. They both live in Wichita and train together at home, but they are not romantically involved. Matt also only maintains a Twitter account, so you will not be able to follow him on Facebook or other social media.
His sponsor, Onixpickleball, does have an Instagram account and a Facebook page. These are good places to keep in touch with Matt’s tournaments, placings, and appearances if you are trying to learn more info or get to see him play.
His Twitter showed him traveling a lot pre-pandemic, and this is likely one of his biggest passions that he will return to when he has more free time again. Being a full-time lawyer is a lot of work,, but there is probably going to be time made to travel to places and not just to play games. Matt travels frequently for his pickleball events and appears to make the most of being in new places while he is touring.
Matt Wright is an Excellent Player Who is Relatively New to the Game
If you need any assurances that people of all ages can enjoy pickleball or that it can be picked up quickly, you need only look at the career of Matt Wright. While his vast skill with tennis play is likely the biggest reason for his nearly overnight success as a pickleball player, this game offers people who might otherwise have suffered from injuries and setbacks to enjoy tennis-like play in a more accessible way.
Matt Wright has made a big name for himself in just a few years, and he is expected to continue to succeed in the future just as he did in his early years of play. The current tournament and play schedule for this sport has been delayed somewhat by the pandemic, but when things return to normal again, it’s likely that Matt will continue his winning ways.